Parsonsfield, Maine - Solar

Lyn Sudlow’s home on Dragonfly Pond (Parsonsfield, Maine) boasts two solar hot water collectors arranged in an awning mount and six solar PV collectors (far left). Her neighbors are now eligible for a group discount through “Solarize Sacopee”

ReVision has kicked off the first grassroots-organized Solarize program in Maine, dubbed “Solarize Sacopee” and compassing the Southwestern Maine towns of Cornish, Limerick, Limington, Maplewood, Newfield, Parsonsfield and Waterboro.

The program follows similar “Solarize” efforts in Maine, New Hampshire, and elsewhere – anyone in the service towns can sign up before a given deadline (June 1), and as more people sign up, a greater volume discount will be available to everyone. Discounts will range $200-$600 depending on size of system and how many people sign up during the campaign.

Solarize Sacopee came to be thanks to a grassroots group, Ossipee Towns for Sustainability. The members of the OTFS get together to follow the ‘transition town’ model, a movement that started in the UK that works to get a community to be fiscally local – encompassing food, transportation, and, of course, energy.

We spoke to OTFS member Peter Christensen (more on him in our customer FAQ this month) about how the group got interested in solar. Peter told us that:

Most of us at OTFS were curious about solar, but we were not sure where to start. We initially did a ‘Make Your Own Solar Panel’ workshop – we had an expert from New York present an all day workshop where we learned how to solder together silicon cells and weatherproof them to build a 65-watt solar module. It was a great learning experience, but when we did the math, we determined that it is more economically viable to buy commercially made modules than to make your own!

The next phase was us trying to figure out how to find a local commercial solar installer. I actually learned about ReVision Energy because one of their staff members was in an anti-tar sands rally. I thought, ‘This is a company who has a passion for what they are doing.’ Ultimately we had Jen Hatch come out to do a talk in a very informal living room setting, which created much enthusiasm. The idea of us coming together as a “Solarize” Community was born.

Details (and signup) for Solarize Sacopee at: http://www.solarizesacopee.com/

We’d also be happy to organize a Solarize campaign in YOUR town or city, contact ReVision Energy to get things started!